STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (Errol Morris) 118 minutes. Opens Friday (May 2). For times and venues, see listings. Rating: NNNN
Fresh from its Hot Docs play date, Errol Morris’s latest is a characteristically reserved dissection of the atrocities committed by American troops on Iraqi detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison – the logical result of the official sanctioning by the highest levels of the military of the mistreatment and torture of prisoners.
This ground was previously covered by Rory Kennedy in last year’s Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib, but the direct-address intimacy of Morris’s Interrotron camera system and access to infamous thumbs-up girl Lynndie England – still in military prison when Kennedy was making her documentary – make this a very different work.
A chilling look at the systemic cruelty tacitly authorized and openly encouraged within the U.S. military, this is as close to a war-crimes indictment as we’re likely to get.